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EMC announces channel program enhancements at EMC World

IT infrastructure vendor EMC makes major channel announcement at annual user conference

LAS VEGAS – At its first ever global partner conference Sunday on the eve of its annual user conference, IT infrastructure vendor EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) launched new partner practices for cloud computing and new unified storage products purpose-built for the channel to deliver private cloud environments.

Over 3000 partners are on hand for the partner conference, which began the day before the official kickoff of the EMC World user conference, which is expected to draw 15,000 attendees. EMC president and CEO Joe Tucci reaffirmed the vendor’s commitment to the indirect channel and to an open platform partnering approach versus attempting to own the entire stack.

“We care as much about your success as our success,” said Tucci. “I have not one desire to be full service from A to Z, and I haven’t many customers that say they want everything from one company. They want choice.”

Cloud computing is a major focus at the conference, with EMC pushing its version of a hybrid cloud model where customers seamlessly move applications and data between data centres and private clouds, depending on workloads and needs, and even public clouds for certain tasks. That hybrid model will require compatible infrastructure and management to make the transitions seamless, and that’s where EMC is focused.

“Cloud is creating a new architecture with pools of network and storage resources, and you don’t leave old applications behind because you can jack a new agile infrastructure underneath,” said Jeremy Burton, executive vice-president and CMO with EMC. “We think there will be hundreds of thousands of private cloud environments, and every organization will connect their infrastructure to these dynamic private cloud infrastructures.”

To help partners demonstrate competency in this area, EMC has launched Cloud Builder and Cloud Provider practises within its Velocity partner program. Aimed at solution and service providers respectively, partners that earn the designations are eligible for benefits such as special branding, purpose-built products and marketing support.

“It’s about enabling you to build your own private clouds for your customers,” said Howard Elias, president and COO of EMC’s information infrastructure and cloud services division.

The specific program requirements will be announced shortly but Fred Kohout, vice-president of global channel marketing with EMC, said the program will be solution-oriented and focused around competencies, requiring specialties in storage, backup and recovery, and certification with a third-party virtualization vendor such as VMware, Microsoft or Citrix. Benefits downstream will include a route to market with EMC’s VSPEX virtual infrastructure and access to a demand generation program.

All EMC partners will eventually have access to EMC’s cooperative services, a new service delivery model that allows select partners to take services components and methodologies from EMC Global Services and integrate them into their own offerings. The program will initially be limited to select partners as the kinks are worked out.

“We’re building a framework to have a set of cooperative services you’ll be able to select from and consume in any way you want,” said Elias. “If any scenario you own the offer and the customer relationship, and you decide how you want it branded. Adding EMC services into your offerings can apply scale and provide additional capabilities for your customers.”

The early services that are available first are those that are most complementary to what partners are already doing, said Elias, such as blended shoring, remote monitoring and service, and assessment services.

EMC also added to its VNX family of unified storage offerings for virtual and private cloud environments with the launch of the VNXe3150, a channel-only product that EMC claims offers 50 per cent more performance and capacity per rack than the previous generation offering. Rich Napolitano, president of EMC’s unified storage division, said this is their low-end entry product, with support for flash memory and a starring price of under $10,000.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.